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Practical Linux by Bill Ball, John Ray, Michael Turner, M. Drew Streib

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Selecting a Shell

A number of different shells work with Linux, and each has its own features, capabilities, and limitations. Table 2.3 lists shells normally installed on many Linux systems.

Table 2.3. Common Shells for Linux
Name Description
ash A small shell
bash The default Linux shell
pdksh Public-domain version ksh shell
tcsh Compatible version of csh shell
zsh Compatible ksh, csh, and sh shell with some extra features

Acceptable system shells are listed in a file called shells under the /etc directory:

/bin/bash
/bin/bsh
/bin/sh
/bin/ash
/bin/bsh
/bin/tcsh
/bin/csh
/bin/ksh
/bin/zsh
/usr/bin/pine

Some of the shells listed in this file are not actual programs installed on your system, but are symbolic links to existing shells.

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